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Little Falls in Herkimer County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The World's Best Cheddar

Herkimer County Cheese

 
 
The World's Best Cheddar Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 15, 2019
1. The World's Best Cheddar Marker
Inscription.  In the years after the Civil War, nearly half of all the cheese made in America came from New York State. The best came from Herkimer County cows that grazed on the limestone rich pastures of this region. Local cheese-makers were able to capture that special flavor in their cheddar, and the resulting cheese was shipped throughout the world

From Quality Farms
By 1830, dairying was widespread among the towns of Herkimer County north of the Mohawk River. At first cheese-making was a family affair, but by 1860 farmers began to adopt the factory system to the process. Cooperative factories collected milk from dozens of farms and brought it to a central location where a single skilled cheese-maker could mass-produce thousands of pounds of cheese.

The cash that local farmers received for their cheese made them prosperous. From 1865 to the early 1900s, Herkimer County farms were among the finest and most modern in the state. Many of the fine barns and farm buildings that you see in this region today were built with the profits from cheese-making.

Making Great Cheese
At the factory, the farmer's milk was
The World's Best Cheddar Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 15, 2019
2. The World's Best Cheddar Marker
Another view of the marker
weighed and tested for its butterfat content, then poured into large cheese vats. The milk was gently heated, then rennet was added to coagulate the liquid. Gradually it solidified as the curds separated from the liquid whey. The process was facilitated by cutting the curd into cubes and then cooked further until the right moment was reached and the curds were strained out. variations in temperature and timing were required for each kind of cheese and each batch of milk.

The curds were then poured into wooden or metal cheese hoops lined with muslin cheesecloth and tightly pressed to remove as much liquid as possible. The next day the cheese went to the curing room where it ripened on long tables for 20-30 days. Each day the wheels of cheese had to be turned and rubbed with grease to seal the outside surfaces.When fully aged, they were packed into wooden boxes for shipping to shops and wholesalers around the world.

Inset:
"Above all things, do not make salty, soft, and mushy or porous and spongy cheese. Have them when cured, be firm but mellow and clean flavored, with a smooth, bright, and handsome exterior, and then you have the perfection of good cheese."
- Sam Perry, cheese broker of Newport, New York
 
Erected by The Little Falls Historical Society, the Little Falls Cheese Festival, and an anonymous donor.
View to the north along Ann Street image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 15, 2019
3. View to the north along Ann Street
The cheese markers are on the right

 
Location. 43° 2.547′ N, 74° 51.552′ W. Marker is in Little Falls, New York, in Herkimer County. Marker is at the intersection of South Ann Street and Albany Street when traveling north on South Ann Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Little Falls NY 13365, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Cheese Business (a few steps from this marker); The Street Cheese Market (within shouting distance of this marker); Shaping the City (within shouting distance of this marker); Window on the Past (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Route of the Little Falls Canal (about 500 feet away); A Bridge for Boats (approx. 0.2 miles away); Benton’s Landing (approx. 0.2 miles away); Little Falls (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Little Falls.
 
Categories. AgricultureIndustry & Commerce
 
More. Search the internet for The World's Best Cheddar.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 19, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 18, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on March 18, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.   2, 3. submitted on March 19, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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